I have been dreaming of cooking paella at home. However, I always got intimidated with its ingredients specially the saffron which is very expensive. This week, I was able to watched a youtube video on how to prepare paella the easy way without using saffron. The chef used aligue or crab fat to flavor the dish. I went to the grocery to find a bottle of aligue but sadly it was out of stock. Then, an idea hit me. Why not paella negra.
I’ve heard this dish before but I was adamant to try it since I really don’t like the squid ink. I always remove it when I cook adobong pusit. It just taste and smell so fishy. Well, paella negra is not paella negra when it does not have squid ink. So squid ink it is.
I was about to try glutinous rice since it is readily available in the market. I know you guys will raise their eyebrow since it is not the ideal rice for cooking paella. But hey, it is cheap and our family will be the one to eat it right? You can cooked paella negra with whatever rice you desire. Anyway, your family will not criticize you for that. In my case, since I do not like glutinous rice or any sticky rice in that aspect, I chose red rice for this recipe. I like my rice to be more on the fluffier side. It’s also healthier considering the cholesterol coming from the other ingredients.
This recipe is around Php600-500 and could easily feed a family of 6 to 8 members. You can buy squid ink if you can find one. Does anyone knows where to buy one in the Philippines? Since I do not have squid ink on my hand, I simply get the ink from half kilo of squid. I find this insufficient since the rice is not that black.
I simmer the mussels for 5 minutes or until the shells opened. I strained the broth and used this to flavor the paella negra. When you stir fry the squids, it will release some water. Do not throw this away. Put it with the mussel broth. For The shrimp, everyone will agree with me that the head contains all its flavors. I separate the head and mashed it until its juices came out. I squeezed and strained it and place the shrimp juice into the broth. Now you have your seafood broth.
The original paella negra only uses squid or cuttlefish as its main ingredients but you can add more seafoods of your choice like shrimp, prawns, crab and mussels. Choose the seafoods that are in season and cheap. It also adds color to the dish which makes it really attractive. Also, do not forget to season the seafoods with salt and pepper when your stir fry it. You don’t want to eat a bland seafood meat right?
Lastly, when everything is cooked, drizzle your paella negra with calamansi or lemon juice. It simply brings out the full flavor of the dish.
|1 kilo||Mussels, cleaned|
|Salt and Pepper to Taste|
|Head of shrimps mashed to extract the juices.|
|Juice from the squid after stir frying.|
|1 Tablespoon||Shredded Ginger|
|1 Head||Garlic, minced|
|1 Bulb||Onion, minced|
|4 piece||Ripe Tomatoes, diced|
|1 teaspoon||Spanish Paprika|
|1 Tablespoon||Squid Ink (or more)|
|4 Cups||Red Rice|
|6 Cups||Seafood Broth|
|Salt and Pepper to taste|
|4 Cups||Hot Water|
|250 grams||Shrimp, stir fried|
|500 grams||Squid, stir fried|
|1 kilo||Boiled Mussels|
|2 pieces||Salted Egg, sliced|
|1 piece||Green Bell Pepper, sliced thinly|
|Chopped parsley to garnish|
|Calamansi to garnish|
In preparing the seafood broth, boil water then add the mussels. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the shells open. Remove the mussels and strain the broth to remove the solid particles. To this, add the shrimp juice and the juice left when you stir fried the squid. Add water to make 6 cups. Set this aside.
Saute ginger, garlic and onion in a pan. Add the tomatoes and cover. Simmer it over low heat until the tomatoes release its juices. Mash it lightly with the back of a fork. Then, add Spanish paprika and squid ink. Add the rice and stir until everything is covered with the sauteed tomatoes. Add the seafood broth and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let it cook over low heat.
Since the water to be added with the rice depends on the rice itself, you can add more water if needed. Just make it sure that the water is hot. In my case I added 4 more cups of hot water. You may not add or you may add more water. You just have to cook the rice.
When the rice is cooked, assemble the toppings. You can design it in whatever manner you like. Lastly, like I’ve said before, drizzle your paella negra with calamansi or lemon juice to bring out its full flavor. However, what I did is placed the calamansi along the corners so if they don’t like it with calamansi they my opt not to squeezed it.
Download the full recipe below.